The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a Knockin’, are You Ready to Answer?

A year ago, I mentioned that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was going to be knocking on everyone’s door to make sure they’re complying with federal consumer finance laws. That year is up.

While the new Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure forms the CFPB recently introduced help make the mortgage process easier for consumers to understand, the forms are yet another hoop financial organizations have to jump through.

Here are some common questions people are asking:

  • How will the new forms affect my processes?
  • How can I track the forms and the hundreds of others that make up a loan?
  • How do I ensure the forms flow to the right person and that they’re 100 percent complete and accurate?

Not only are the new forms an opportunity to make things simpler for consumers, they’re also a huge opportunity to make things simpler within your institution. That’s where enterprise content management (ECM) – also called document management – helps. By electronically capturing all your documents, you make them instantly available to your employees, whether they’re at headquarters or a remote branch location.

After all, the median length of a checking account disclosure is still 69 pages. That’s a lot of paper. And it’s just one of many portfolios you manage for a single customer. Multiply that by your total customers and what do you get? A lot of paper. With storage fees, shipping costs, penalties for noncompliance with regulations and disaster risks like floods or fires – paper really isn’t the best way to do business any more.

Decrease your paper dependency while increasing the speed and accuracy of your processes
Many financial institutions are turning to ECM to capture documents electronically and then securely store, route and manage them. By capturing paper electronically, you’re able to optimize processes and positively affect the bottom line. For example, automating your loan process increases your speed, accuracy and visibility into real-time information – giving you a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

And you can use an ECM solution to integrate with the technologies you use every day, giving them the ability to communicate with each other and share information.

Further reducing your dependency on paper to make your processes faster and more accurate, electronic document workflow lets you automatically route documents and information to the appropriate employees. That gives you the ability to remove repetitive tasks and track work, utilizing email notifications to inform users of new work or changes in status. When a process is finished, ECM solutions automatically store documents in a secure, central repository and then update lines of business (LOBs) – all without any additional work from employees.

With ECM, instead of shipping and storing paper, your branches scan and index documents into the system, further speeding processes and reducing risks associated with regulation compliance. And if there’s any missing or incomplete documentation, the solution automatically notifies the right people, so you immediately know when you’re missing critical information that proves compliance with local, state and federal regulations. The increased visibility into your documents, information and processes lets you manage your institution with real-time information, giving you the ability to avoid fines or any bad press. With ECM, your documents – and the pertinent information that surrounds them – are secure, auditable, traceable and easily accessible.

Just like that, the CFPB’s challenge has become an opportunity.

Take action: reap rewards now, and later
Using ECM is a great way to get ahead of compliance demands, because there are more regulations to come. So why wait?

“It’s not just about loans – the focus is on mortgages this year, deposit products next year. The time to start is now,” says David Kerstein of the CFPB on BAI Retail’s Banking Strategies Daily.

I couldn’t have put it better myself.

Michelle Harbinak Shapiro

Michelle Harbinak Shapiro

Michelle Shapiro brings more than 15 years of experience in the banking industry to her role as Financial Services marketing portfolio manager at Hyland. Her mission is to share best practices and evangelize the power of ECM as a tool for banks, credit unions and lenders to help automate paper-based processes and proactively manage regulations.

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